Support for Hard Brexit in the UK Hardens

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“Significant economic damage” is a “price worth paying.” But businesses are not so sure.

By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

Europhiles hoping that time might heal or at least narrow the rift separating the UK and the EU after last year’s Brexit vote are likely to be sorely disappointed by the findings of a new poll jointly conducted by Oxford University and London School of Economics.

The survey reveals that there is more support for harder Brexit options because Leavers and a substantial number of Remainers back them. The survey’s findings bolster the case for the hard-Brexit-or-nothing position favored (at least publicly) by British Prime Minister Theresa May. The alternative — a so-called “soft” Brexit — would imply having to accept full freedom of movement for all EU citizens in return for some form of privileged access to the single market. Given that regaining control of UK borders was one of the key issues that swung the referendum in Brexit’s favor, such a proposition was always unlikely to sway a majority of British voters.

This new poll, for which 3,293 people were consulted, appears to be confirmation of that. A majority of Brits, including many Remainers, largely concur that Brexit should mean the UK taking back control over its borders, leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and paying only a small “divorce bill” to the EU.

Professor Sara Hobolt of the LSE – one of the research’s authors – says that although neither Remain or Leave voters were showing signs of regretting how they voted, it seems that Remain voters are less unified behind a soft Brexit than Leave voters are behind a hard Brexit.

“Our results imply that Leavers are united in strongly favoring a ‘hard Brexit’ because they are generally more likely to oppose any deal that involves continued freedom of movement of people, jurisdiction of the ECJ, and a very large ‘divorce settlement’,” she said.

“In contrast, Remainers are more divided, with the majority favoring a ‘soft Brexit’ but others favoring aspects of a ‘hard Brexit’. Overall, this means that there is on aggregate higher levels of support for outcomes that resemble the ‘hard Brexit’ position put forward by the government.”




There’s a sound logic to this gambit. Under a soft Brexit, the UK would essentially continue to face most, if not all, of the impositions, costs, burdens and other drawbacks of being in the EU while wielding even less influence — as in no influence at all — over how arrangements might change in the future. As such, the only option that offers the UK any prospect of self-rule in the foreseeable future, which was ultimately what the referendum vote was all about, is that of a hard or clean Brexit.

With 68% of the respondents in the survey saying they would opt for hard over soft Brexit and another 67% saying they would prefer “no deal” to soft Brexit, the survey’s finding offer the strongest hint yet that public support in the UK is coalescing around a hard, clean break from the EU — even it means paying a high price! According to a recent You Gov poll, 61% of those who voted to leave the EU said they consider “significant economic damage” as a “price worth paying” for quitting the bloc.

Many UK businesses would beg to differ, in particular those with large markets to serve and protect on the continent. This week, six major British business chiefs told Reuters there’s still too much uncertainty around post-Brexit immigration, trade and regulation to be able to plan and make coherent investment decisions.

“I see through a glass darkly. It’s hard to discern exactly what is happening at the moment,” Rupert Soames, CEO of British outsourcing group Serco said.

London’s huge financial center has its own set of fears, particularly over rival capitals coveting its most valuable operations. The City of London Corporation, the UK’s state within a state, is being reacquainted with one of the basic tenets of statecraft: countries don’t have friends, only interests. In July the Corporation’s special representative to the EU, Jeremy Browne, bemoaned in a private memo that was subsequently leaked to the media that the French are plotting to “actively disrupt and destroy” the UK’s financial sector when Britain leaves the EU.

During the past week further instalments of Browne’s private correspondence have been disclosed by the press. His biggest concern this time around is Brussels’ aggressive moves on the City’s crown jewel: its €900 billion euro clearing business. “Nobody disputes that [London’s euro clearing] system currently works in practice, but the EU27 (or, more specifically, the Eurozone) has a supervisory and quasi-nationalistic desire to prevent business continuing as usual in London post-Brexit,” Browne said.

Clearly, the Corporation would much prefer that a gentlemanly solution can be found to the problem — preferably one that leaves its undisputed predominance over global financial markets in tact. As Browne puts it, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” For the UK banks and businesses that have strong trading ties with EU economies, the biggest threat right now is that attitudes continue to harden, not only in the UK but also on the other side of the English Channel.

An important ray of hope for them is the wafer-thin majority the government has in parliament in the wake of the last elections. As such, the British public may increasingly want a clean break from the EU but the deeply divided Conservative Party in government may have trouble delivering it. By Don Quijones.

“Why did no executive at the company say, ‘This will come back to haunt us’?” Read… Blowback Begins for Companies in UK Ground Rents Scandal




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  57 comments for “Support for Hard Brexit in the UK Hardens

  1. mvojy
    Aug 16, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Apparently the only balls in all of Europe are footballs (aka soccer balls)

  2. robt
    Aug 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    It would be interesting to see how (or if) the questions were loaded by the LSE and Oxford, but still delivered a 68% hard exit.
    The LSE was, after all, founded by the Fabianists, and still has a decidedly left-wing bias, i.e. remain.
    One writer on the LSE site sums it up:
    “The referendum vote for Brexit was clear: the electorate was 46,501,241, Leave was 17,410,742 and Remain was 16,141,241. The UK public actually did not, does not and will not want a Brexit in the foreseeable future [!?]. Adrian Low makes this argument by analysing the post-referendum polls and demographic trends.”
    ………..
    The writer suggests that even though Brexit received the most votes, the public didn’t want it, because subsequent polling suggests that maybe the voters weren’t sure when they voted, 12.9 million did not vote, and if there were compulsory voting as in Australia the results could have been different. (Compulsory voting in a ‘free’ democracy has always been a ludicrous paradox to me.)
    Subsequent to the referendum, based on surveys polling a couple of thousand people the vote could possibly change. Therefore, the vote could be invalidated by having another referendum, so let’s have it.
    How these people think is both bizarre and morbidly fascinating, but is in accordance with the EU process of just having referenda until, exhausted or confused, the public votes the ‘correct’ way.
    .

    • Mike
      Aug 16, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      The legal compulsiveness in Australian voting laws are a msunderstood fiction.
      Australian voters are subject to legal sanction if they do not have their names registered on a Voting Role and do not have their names marked off the role as having attended the polling station at an election. There are no legal sanctions, on anyone, if they do not Vote.

      • robt
        Aug 16, 2017 at 7:33 pm

        Misunderstood fiction? You are given a ballot, you have to put the ballot in the box, not just register, show up, and leave. Of course, you could spoil the ballot or leave it blank.
        Or you could just pay the 20 dollar fine later for not voting, after you get the letter in the mail advising you of your crime.
        http://www.aec.gov.au/FAQs/Voting_Australia.htm#not-vote
        From the FAQ ……………………………
        *Why did I receive a letter about failing to vote?

        -You will receive a letter from the AEC if, according to our records, you did not vote at the 2016 federal election. If you did vote, you should advise the AEC and provide details by the due date. If you didn’t vote, you will need to provide a valid and sufficient reason why, or pay the $20 penalty.
        If you do not either reply to the notice or pay the penalty by the due date, the matter may be referred to a court. There is a maximum fine of $180 (plus court costs) if the matter is dealt with by the court, and a CRIMINAL CONVICTION may be recorded against your name.
        ……………..
        -Voting is compulsory in Australia. Failure to vote at a federal election without a valid and sufficient reason is a criminal offence under section 245 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

        • Mike
          Aug 16, 2017 at 10:49 pm

          You don’t even have to place your ballot in the ballot box. You are free of any legal sanctions if you have your name crossed off the roll as having attended the polling booth. Read the Act, not the guff.
          So Australia’s ‘compulsory’ VOTING is a fiction.
          Australia has compulsory attendance and registration at the Polling Booth on Election Day.

        • George McDuffee
          Aug 17, 2017 at 2:32 am

          Indeed.

          While I look forward to this somewhat less than a root canal, the time has long ago come that the U. S. Federal government should issue counterfeit resistant national photo ID cards with a magnetic strip and chip, similar to the new credit cards, and a central photo ID database for all residents that indicate status, for example “citizen,” “legal resident,” “international student,” “H1b visa,” “tourist,” “refugee,” etc. Possession, manufacture, and distribution of counterfeit ID cards should be a serious felony with heavy criminal penalties.

          The next step is to override state “sovereignty,” and implement a system of automatic voter registration of qualified adult citizens for the location shown as their permanent domicile. [No fixed address is a separate problem.]

          The third and final step is to implement mandatory voting for all citizens 18 years of age or older who are physically and mentally able to do so, possibly with voluntary voting for citizens 16 and 17 years old. Not voting should incur increasingly large fines, perhaps increasing to short stays in jail for persistent “scofflaws”

          It should be possible to contract with the credit card companies to use their card networks, and plug-in card readers for cell phones are available at low cost, and can be used to “swipe” an ID card to show voting, and possibly display a photo from the central database to verify identity.

          I have written two screeds [letters to my Congressional representatives] on this detailing a possible system and the significant benefits for the citizens and legal residents in areas other than voting, which are a substantial majority of the current population. These can be seen at
          http://mcduffee-associates.us/DROPBOX/dni01.pdf
          and
          http://mcduffee-associates.us/DROPBOX/NID02.pdf

          FWIW: never received a reply to either.

        • Aug 17, 2017 at 7:24 am

          George, you wrote: “…never received a reply to either.”

          Did you forgot to make a big “campaign contribution” along with the letter, preferably before you sent the letter?

  3. Stevedcfc72
    Aug 16, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    With that one comment ‘the French plan to destroy’ shows you what a nice bunch of so called friends in Europe we have.

    The problem with Euroland is that every country is so protectionist, goes against what the EU should be about.

    Ireland with their low corporation tax rate which in favour of the EU they have correctly questioned Apples tax bill.

    France recently didn’t like the fact an Italian company wanted to buy a port in France. It went against their interests.

    Germany’s fabled industries which fair very favourably using the euro compared to everybody else.

    Poland who still have a beef about World War Two but don’t about the fact that so many millions of Poles live in the UK but don’t like the fact they won’t take their quota of refugees from Syria.

    You can go on with every country.

    If they want some of the bankers they’re welcome to them, aside of themselves benefiting they have done nothing but harm the UK especially in the last nine years.

    Hard Brexit please.

    • James Levy
      Aug 16, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      I know none of these arguments will matter (because this is largely an emotional and ideological issue, not a practical one) but the EU has been very good for Wales and quite good for Scotland and Northern Ireland, not to mention UK farmers and UK food consumers. Its laws and courts have also done at least a little to prevent UK government plans to turn the nation into a total surveillance state wherein the citizens have whatever rights the government feels like giving them at any given moment (given that the unreformed UK constitution has created a de facto Parliamentary dictatorship with no effective checks and balances, losing access to EU courts is going to be perhaps the worst effect of Brexit).

      A hard Brexit is going to shatter the last remaining illusions about the importance of the UK. It is going to be a poorer, shriller, lest free society on the fringes of Europe and the Atlantic World. It will be shorn of some annoying and stupid EU regulations, those nasty Poles whom so many seem to hate, and bothersome refugees. The oligarchy that runs it will have a freer hand. Perhaps being ruled over by a few hundred rich and well-connected English families will be better than being grossly interfered with by foreign bureaucrats. Perhaps it won’t.

      • Stevedcfc72
        Aug 16, 2017 at 5:18 pm

        Hi James,
        Some good points made. Okay so the EU may have been good for Wales-Scotland-Northern Ireland – that’s about 12 million out of 65 million people.

        Importance of the UK – Who cares. Countries such as Sweden-Norway who are classed as less important do very well thank you very much.

        The UK always has been ruled by an upper class-well connected English families at least for the last 1,000 years. Most countries will have rich and connected families who rule the roost.

        • nick kelly
          Aug 16, 2017 at 10:55 pm

          Thatcher was raised above the family’s grocery store. At first discouraged from applying for an Oxford scholarship, she persisted and won. After doing hard science (X-ray diffraction, etc.) she did research for 3M. Then she became a lawyer, and finally a politician. She was entirely self- made and remains by miles the most powerful woman in history in that respect.

          John Major was the son of a circus performer, who was in his fifties when Major was born.

          By comparison with the UK, France is far more class oriented. No one of humble birth has risen to the highest ranks of government. All senior ministers have attending one of three institutions. It has been said that France is run by one thousand people.

      • robt
        Aug 16, 2017 at 8:22 pm

        -Parliamentary dictatorship is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron
        -Refugees become bothersome because there is a virtually infinite supply, and finite resources in the host country.
        -And class envy and warfare, by which successive governments have vindictively attempted to destroy and impoverish ancient families, most of whom have a sense of duty and responsibility, usually doesn’t end well – you simply end up with a greedy bunch of boors that constitute the new aristocracy, just without manners.
        -The idea behind the EU, which is run by a bunch of nomenklatura and apparatchiks from the old USSR and their travelling companions, is simply to redistribute revenue from the creators of wealth to those with begging bowls in order to exercise power over all, and not coincidentally take a big piece of the action for themselves. And now they want an army.

      • Kraig higgs
        Aug 18, 2017 at 7:42 am

        Oddly the places receiving the most subsidy from Europe were most in favour of leaving (I suspect loss of jobs to eastern Europeans who fill cheap jobs I. The busy periods the. Go home to cheaper living costs) an EU minimum wage would reduce that a bit.

    • Hiho
      Aug 16, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      From the continental european point of view: hard brexit also please. The uk has been for years nothing more than the US trojan horse in the UE. Pioners in neoliberal destruction and always ready to sabotage the UE interests following the will of its master.

      Keep your bankers please, they are ok in the city. The further the better.

      • Stevedcfc72
        Aug 16, 2017 at 4:59 pm

        Hi Hiho,

        Which country are you from?

        I fully agree the UK seems to be the USA’s lap dog, that needs to change. Has been since the second world war.

        From the point of sabotage to the EU, we’ve always been on the outside of things so not had the power to sabotage…the only thing the EU wants off the UK is our money to subsidise all those countries who receive monies (The majority of the rest, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Romania (and Turkey) etc etc).

        The only thing which is doing damage to the EU is Frau Merkel, the Brussels establishment (Herr Junker etc etc) and Monsieur Macron, le Grand Fromage.

        Don’t believe everything in the European Press about us nasty Brexit people. Many of my friends are German-Italian and French and they all agree the European Union needs massive reform, in fact they are jealous we got the referendum vote. Italy as an example is a shadow of its former self, incredibly sad when for example a great Italian company like Pirelli ends up in Chinese hands.

        We joined the EU in 1975 for trade alone, not for the things being suggested now like a European army. The EU has morphed into this horrible undemocratic organisation.

        Please take the bankers though still lol.

        • RD Blakeslee
          Aug 16, 2017 at 5:10 pm

          “I fully agree the UK seems to be the USA’s lap dog, that needs to change. Has been since the second world war.”

          What were they immediately before and during the war?

        • Stevedcfc72
          Aug 16, 2017 at 5:43 pm

          Hi RD Blakeslee,

          I’d say March 1941 when we had to go cap in hand to Roosevelt to get all the tanks-equipment we required off the US – The lend lease agreement.

          Also 1941 when the UK (Churchill) were asking the US to join the war against the Nazi’s which didn’t happen until Pearl Harbour.

          I think since then the UK has owed a huge debt of gratitude to our friends over the pond.

        • Argus
          Aug 17, 2017 at 11:16 am

          I fully agree with your comments on the EU, although I think the whole exercise has been far more sinister than what you have implied.
          Good luck to the Brits and congratulations.

        • Kraig
          Aug 18, 2017 at 7:35 am

          The UK being the us lapdog will only change if they move into a powerful sphere of influence against the us. At the moment that’s the EU.

    • fajensen
      Aug 17, 2017 at 1:45 am

      We are not friends, exactly. Many, residing on my side of the water, would argue that much of what is seen as wrong with the EU like “slack financial regulations”, “free movement, but, with no social dimensions, common tax rules or common worker protection At All”, “Weak EU institutions” etcetera is indeed the work of the British. Another rather sore spot,”Turkey in the EU”, also.

      And we have all watched the ceaseless demands for special concessions by probably every British government in existence since the EU was created.

      We have, from our perspective, had our fill with British people (Bankers, Thatcherite’s, and assorted Blairite scum to be more precise) telling us “what the EU should be about (or not)” and then, the icing on top, lobbying for special concessions to dodge the consequences.

      • Kraig
        Aug 18, 2017 at 7:58 am

        One wonders what you mean by free movement with no social dimensions? The fact that benefit claimant s can’t change country of residence freely?

    • kam
      Aug 17, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Their is nothing wrong with “Ireland with their low corporation tax rate” so long as the low taxes apply to income derived from Ireland.

      But using Ireland to avoid taxation of income from other countries is a moral outrage. Taxes should be paid where the income is derived. Period.

  4. John
    Aug 16, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    To Barnier its all about the money, rather than the future of the EU/ europe and its people

    You can see why the UK voted to leave

  5. Realist
    Aug 16, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Well, it is an impossibility for Euroland to allow the euro clearing business to stay in a country outside the EU, it would equal to Mexico having a similar role for the USD. Would the USA accept this ? I dare to claim the USA wouldn’t do so. Britain will loose the European Banking Authority, too Another institution Britain will loose is the European Medicines Agency. All these mean a lot of skilled and highly paid people will leave Britain, just from these 3 examples. And British influence will vane. It will be interesting to see what Nissan et all will do in the future. Are weak British unions and worker protection enough to keep the factories in Britain when the markets are in the EU ? What about Northern Ireland ? How will the Scots react ? How will British farmers react when Tories start cutting subsidies ? And the NHS will of course get the millions promised by Nigel, Boris & Co :) Just a couple of minor details.

    And where will Britain find the skilled people needed to negociate all trade and other treaties they’ll have to make with other countries ? The thing is that Britain does not have these people, since they haven’t needed such people as all this has been handled by the EU … there aren’t enough Brits working for the EU to make up for this short fall in skills…

    This is just a couple of oservations, there are more than anyone can grasp at the moment.

    The most amazing thing with Britain today is that the leadership seems to be completely clueless although exit talks have already started.

    BTW, a clean up of the City of London is long overdue. It is no coincidence that AIG & co did conduct their shenanigans over there that did help the crisis to gather momentum ten years ago ….

    • Stevedcfc72
      Aug 16, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Realist,

      As your name suggests its time the UK took a reality check.

      Your comments from a bank point of view, they will be far better off being still in the UK far less regulations than under the Euroland. Remember our Euro friends wanted to raise a transaction tax on banking.

      The European Medicines agency maybe leaving but the scientists within the organisation the majority want to stay in the UK.

      British influence will vane. Brilliant. I would rather be a small country who doesn’t try to be a big player. We’ve spent billions since the second world war on defending Europe with our armies, let them start sorting themselves out.

      Nissan they have already been assured that the UK Government will support them going forward. The car companies which should be worried at the moment are BMW, Mercedes, Renault, Peugeot, Fiat.

      Worker protection will be just as rigid as being in the Euro, but with a bit more common sense. Fact – Since the Eastern Europeans have come to the UK, slavery has now become an issue.

      Northern Ireland-Scotland need to have a reality check going forward, the way they are subsidised by the rest of the UK.

      Farmers – these subsidies are crazy, effectively getting paid to do nothing.
      farmers need to produce more to sell in the UK, less to be imported then. No business should have to rely on state subsidies to be in business.

      The NHS – less people in the UK, less strain on the NHS. The last few times I’ve been with my son, I was the only English speaking person there.

      There are more than enough skilled-clever people in the UK. An example being judges.

      The one thing I agree on is the leadership of this country – Conservative-Labour are terrible and they are letting the country down at the moment, I get the sense they’re actually doing this on purpose.

      • Kraig
        Aug 18, 2017 at 7:49 am

        The NHS will quite possibly lose half its staff though and Tory’s will love stripping away worker protection (they enabled zero hours, who allowed cheap non fire proof cladding in greenfell to make more profit? ) A sensible transition period and a modern day magna carta with a new court probably in the lords to tack on ECJ functions would be a good start. Our government seems hell bent on delaying when the best thing would be getting a transitional deal in (that gives time to train and reskill staff to plug gaps)

    • TJ Martin
      Aug 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      ” The most amazing thing with Britain today is that the leadership seems to be completely clueless although exit talks have already started ”

      Thats due in no small part to the ‘ so called ‘ leadership of May Queen of NeoPopulists and her clueless minions more interested in and desperate to maintain office than doing whats right for the UK .. with a powerless monarchy in the wings wringing their hands in abject frustration as they see a potential future completely devoid of the Common Wealth

    • fajensen
      Aug 17, 2017 at 2:02 am

      “””
      The most amazing thing with Britain today is that the leadership seems to be completely clueless although exit talks have already started.
      “””
      British Conservatism went down the drain for good when the real-estate agents, property developers, and insurance brokers infiltrated and took over The Conservative Party.

      Of course these people are totally clueless, their only collective long-term strategy is and always was: “Find something that moves, borrow money and trade it!

      I do believe that the “landed-gentry in tweed types” had way more skin in the game, having plonker grandsons to occupy gainfully, estates to hold on to and suchlike concerns. Thus more “conservative”, having a longer-term view, giving better results overall.

      Compare Winston Churchill:
      “””
      It was formerly supposed that the working of the laws of supply and demand would naturally regulate or eliminate that evil and ultimately produce a fair price …

      But where you have what we call sweated trades, you have no organisation, no parity of bargaining, the good employer is undercut by the bad, and the bad employer is undercut by the worst. Where those conditions prevail you have not a condition of progress, but a condition of progressive degeneration.
      “””

      With Today’s conservative:

      “Go Die”, Because “Markets”!

      It’s quite a difference.

    • kam
      Aug 17, 2017 at 10:05 am

      (Sur) Realist:

      “where will Britain find the skilled people needed to negociate all trade and other treaties they’ll have to make with other countries ? ”
      And with that question everything you state goes up in a puff of smoke.

      The European Project is a good idea to keep Germany from invading it’s neighbors, as it has been wont to do. Aside from that Europe has just become a top down totalitarian state suppressing freedom and thought. Always a dangerous mix.

    • Kraig
      Aug 18, 2017 at 7:37 am

      exactly an independent NYC would lose dollar trading. So that .makes sense

  6. George McDuffee
    Aug 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    How many votes do UK corporations/companies have?

    • robt
      Aug 16, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      As many as the number of people working for them.

  7. TJ Martin
    Aug 16, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    When the whole BREXIT concept came into being my hope was that the UK’d pass it … with then the UK and the EU coming to their senses with compromise and common sense keeping the UK in the EU fold while weeding out many of the EU’s dysfunctional inherit problems

    But no … first the EU draws an angry vindictive hard line in the sand with now the UK adapting the Collective Stupidity of America as their very own .. ultimately no doubt diminishing if not bringing to an end any future influence the UK may have on the world stage .

    Brilliant … or not .. I’ll go firmly with … not !

  8. raxadian
    Aug 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    The Euro zone is a slow shrinking ship so long term it will be beneficial for the UK to leave it. Short and middle term? Is gonna hurt.

    • Tim
      Aug 16, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      You gotta join the Euro zone first in order to leave it.

  9. mean chicken
    Aug 16, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Hopefully Germany gets stuck with paying the EU’s bills, not the UK.

  10. ian
    Aug 17, 2017 at 2:32 am

    Interesting that a writer living in Spain perfectly captures and understands the true aspirations of many Brits as opposed to the snakes and traitors that are paraded in front of us on a daily basis by our own media trying to undermine us and tell us we didn’t understand what we voted for. Bravo.

    • Aug 17, 2017 at 7:26 am

      DQ is a British expat living in Barcelona with his Mexican wife, and they’re now in Mexico on vacation and to visit her family.

  11. ian
    Aug 17, 2017 at 2:36 am

    Oh and if they think we believe that banks are going to relocate from what is essentially a tax and regulation haven in the City to be mired by French taxes and interference then they must be even more dense than we credited.

    • Realist
      Aug 18, 2017 at 10:14 am

      If the banks will not have concession to operate in Euroland and the larger EU27 they can not do any business there. And to be able to do business there they have to move at least part of operations to somewhere in EU27 with Euroland being most tempting location. This means precence in the City of L will be reduced or completely axed.

  12. raxadian
    Aug 17, 2017 at 2:39 am

    For starters having the Euro as the only currency in the Eurozone is stupid. Greece wouldn’t have been in such a big trouble if they had keep their own currency. And Spain and Italy are secretly weeping because lowering the value of
    pesetas and liras has been out the table for years.

    And the main reason the UK was able to leave is because they keep using their own currency.

    • Willy2
      Aug 17, 2017 at 11:45 am

      – German workers have actually subsidized countries in Southern Europe in the last say 17 years and Germany even subsidized the UK (think: Current Accounts) to a large extent.

      • fajensen
        Aug 18, 2017 at 8:23 am

        That is what they have been lead to believe. However, it does takes an greatly irresponsible lender to lend wast sums to already known-to-be irresponsible borrowers at risk-free rates.

        Germany was pretty much running a Vendor Financing Scam all the way during the naughties – happily lending to the PIIGS so they could run out and fritter away the money on Siemens, Miehle, Bosch, BMW, Audi …. with most of the proceeds ended up back home as “German growth” so German Workers would think that Everything was going Well and German policies were so much better than everyone else.

        Of course Basel II rules and the EUR combined to help removing any “legal” concerns over this. This per Design or Stupidity … one cannot always be sure. These days, I tend to favour Stupid!

        • Willy2
          Aug 18, 2017 at 9:31 am

          – Nope. Germany actually ran a Current Account Deficits in the 1990s. It meant that the germans consumed more than they produced. It also meant that e.g. Southern Europe was able to run Current Account Surpluses.

          – It’s very simple to get rid of a Current Account Deficit (US, UK, Southern Europe (from say 2000 – 2014), Australia): decrease consumption through:
          1) Decrease wages/wage growth.
          2) Increased interest rates.
          3) Increased taxation.
          4) Lower the currency.
          – Germany executed option 1). It decreased wage growth. Yes, german industry benefited but it was the german worker who was forced to foot the bill (decreased wage growth). So, it was the german worker who subsidized Southern Europe and is (partially) subsidizing the UK as well.
          – So, if the US (or the UK) wants to decrease or get rid of the Current Account Deficit then simply choose one or more of the options above.

          Mr. Michael Pettis has written extensively on the intracacies/dynamics of international money flows (e.g Current Account surpluses/Deficits). See:

          http://carnegieendowment.org/chinafinancialmarkets

  13. kam
    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:10 am

    The Euro was designed to hand all European power to Germany while enslaving the rest of Europe. Control of everyone without firing a shot. Brilliant. But fleeting.

  14. Willy2
    Aug 17, 2017 at 11:42 am

    – I am not surprised to see support for the Brexit grow. Just look at the GPB/USD rate since mid 2014. It peaked at ~ 1.70 and from that point onwards that rate has gone lower and lower. It means that the folks in the UK have to pay more and more for gasoline/petrol and diesel. (think: oil priced in USD). People foolishly blame their worsening situation on the governmental incumbants (this time around the Conservatives of Mrs. May).
    – And I fear the GBP\USD (and perhaps GBP/EUR) will fall even more in the coming months/years. OMG & Ouch.
    – The reason why the UK is so attractive for immigrants are NOT the immigration rules/regulations but the almost non-existing regulation for the labour markets.
    – If british companies want to continue to export to the Eurozone then they still have to follow the EU regulations. In that regard the EU are imposing regulations on UK companies as well.
    – The same applies for Switzerland. It’s completely surrounded by the EU and that forces Swiss companies who want to export to the EU to follow EU regulations. Whether they like it or not.
    – The falling GBP/EUR also hurts british pensionados who have moved to sunny Spain. Their pensions are paid out in (falling) GBPs but have their costs in EURs.

    • Stevedcfc72
      Aug 17, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Willy2,

      Gasoline-Petrol prices have been pretty consistent since 2014, what negative effect caused by the pound being lower has been offset by the lower price of a barrel of oil.

      Non-existing regulation isn’t quite right, it maybe on the farm picking Industry but in mainstream companies all migrants will require a National Insurance number to work.

      What attracts lower paid immigrants is the social security blanket of tax credits if you’re on a low wage and our national health service which is free and gets abused by migrants.

      Works both ways on trade the EU will have to abide to UK rules…remember we import far more than what we export.

      As for British Pensioners in Spain, most are wealthy, not the UK’s problem in the long term. Apologies that sounds harsh but its true.

  15. Anonymous.1
    Aug 18, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Yes, I agree with the hard Brexit. The Brexit movie illustrates that the conditions were ripe for an end to the relationship with the EU:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTMxfAkxfQ0

  16. ML
    Aug 18, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Even if we hadn’t had the referendum, that the majotrity of people wanted out of of the EU should be of concern. For the UK to be properly in the EU one woukd want the majority of people in the UK to be wholehearted about it. The referendum serves to confirm this is not the case.

    Hard brexit,msoft brexit, who cares. Thise of us that voted leave, myself included, just want out. The government has triggered article 50. Sorting out the details is now underway. It is too soon to judge what will happen. The running commentary is based on speculation and ‘remain’ hysteria.

    • stan barber
      Aug 18, 2017 at 9:59 am

      I don’t care what kind of Brexit,
      Just as long as it is hard and happens now.
      that’s what I voted for.

  17. Kraig
    Aug 18, 2017 at 8:14 am

    “privelged” market access for freedom of movement of people isn’t the EU line (Canada has that) it is that all four freedoms of movement (economically active people,goods, services and capital) are a package deal. There is a wide spectrum between WTO and EU membership. The questions are where the UK wants to be and what it will give up. Tarrifs or MFN clauses or a tax on UK exports to EU for immigration control. Perhaps a brexit bill or sterling loan. Of course the promise was companies would be able to trade as before. Leave promised the moon, and were believed,now they can’t deliver it. Go figure

    • George McDuffee
      Aug 18, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      RE: …all four freedoms of movement (economically active people,goods, services and capital) are a package deal.
      —–
      Remember that when capital is free to migrate, Ricardo’s “Comparative Advantage” [on which so much international development economic analysis rests] disappears and only absolute advantage remains. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage

  18. Stevedcfc72
    Aug 18, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Hi Kraig,

    The problem currently is that the people negotiating on behalf of the UK are all remainers. Teresa May-David Davies.

    Therefore in their heart of hearts they are not the right people to lead negotiations.

    Tariffs on imports-exports would hurt the EU far more than it would the UK.

    Immigration control would be a lovely thing but won’t happen with these useless negotiators.

    The problem the UK currently has is that we have 100k EU people who are recorded as being unemployed and thus will get all their benefits paid for. I presume a substantial amount of these will have family members here also.

    We have 2.3 miilion EU Nationals in the UK working, if any of these are earning less than 35k a year which will be a substantial amount then each person will be costing the UK money through the services they use (NHS-Schools).

    If being out of the EU means we don’t have to pay benefits to these people then paying a Brexit bill of some sort will be worth doing in the long run.

    In fairness the non-EU people in the UK who do similar is far more of a problem numberwise.

    What won the Brexit vote was not the fact of what Leave was saying it was the remainers such as George Osborne who tried to do a Project Fear of the implications of leaving the EU and people saw right through it as a lie.

  19. Realist
    Aug 18, 2017 at 10:23 am

    In a way HMS Queen Elisabeth describes the state of Britan in an excellent way. Showing off with an aircraft carrier without any aircraft, designed for an aircraft that is way behind schedule and no one knows wether the plane in question will be able to deliver when facing up against state of the art fighters. Empty barrells do make the loudest sounds. Some empires and civilizations go out with a bang, others like the British Empire went out with a wimper …

    • greg H
      Aug 22, 2017 at 4:18 am

      I find it quite incredible that we have these dam things nowadays, exocets are dirt cheap by comparison and chasing the Taliban in one seems tricky.
      Likewise trident, we are not even allowed to set one off without approval from USA, like buying golf clubs and caddy, humping them around and not being allowed to play. Daft idea.

    • Stevedcfc72
      Aug 19, 2017 at 4:16 am

      Agreed Gershon, all the UK Government incentives to help first time buyers is down the line making it a lot harder for the first time buyers following those.

      London-South East property prices are crazy but recently have been slowing down.

      Due to the shortage of houses caused by having another 5 million people living in the country (estimated) over the last 10 years is also having a massive effect. Supply isn’t matching demand.

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